PRESS RELEASE/SDAV Hot Rod Club – Photo: supplied

The SDAV Hot Rod troupe headed to Rushworth Speedway for the annual Ray Welsh Memorial event with all competitors keener than ever to finish in the top five and if things really go well on the podium but nobody could out class Shannon Meakins in the end.

With the Welsh family in attendance as they constantly are, the drivers set about competition with each racing in three of the four qualifiers.

Ten lap qualifying distances awaited the field with the first race starting with Phil Jenkins, Shannon Meakins, Tom Marco, Glenn Lawless (#99 – Wally’s Fabrications), Stan Marco Jnr, Stan Marco Snr, Kali Hovey, Dylan Linehan and Dean West the line up order.

Jenkins led field early with Meakins, Tom Marco (#5 – Dandy Paints), Marco Snr and Marco Jnr following across the line on lap one. One lap later Marco Snr moved to second and on lap three into the lead with Jenkins second. Meakins moved to second on lap four as Jenkins dropped to fifth behind Marco Jnr and Tom Marco in fourth.

The Junior Marco’s swapped spots on lap six and West moved into the top five on lap seven. At the finish Marco Snr had won by almost fifteen seconds from Meakins, Tom Marco, West, Linehan, Jenkins, Lawless and Kali Hovey with Marco Jnr (#11 – A+ Powder) a non finisher with front end damage.

Russell Hovey, Raedyn Marco (#2 – Fabricare Engineering) and Chris Wilkes were scheduled in heat two to the top three starting spots with Linehan, Jenkins, West, Tommy Marco, Marco Jnr and Marco Snr. Russell Hovey took the early lead from Wilkes and Marco Snr on lap one. However on lap two Marco Snr took control from Hovey, Linehan, West and Marco Jnr. Linehan moved forward with West on lap three as Wilkes dropped right back through the field and Hovey into fourth.

West (#4 – Dandy Bolts) moved to second by lap five and at the end of eight laps Marco Snr had the win from West, Marco Jnr, Hovey, Tommy Marco, Jenkins, Wilkes and Raedyn Marco. Linehan on lap nine crashed into the wall whilst in third place, causing the caution light scenario, the steward declaring the race with Linehan in last spot.

Kali Hovey (#22 – Little Boots Cafe) rejoined the racing in the third heat from pole position with West alongside then Tommy Marco, Lawless, Jenkins, Meakins, Wilkes, Russell Hovey and Raedyn Marco making up the formation of the grid.

West took the race lead on lap one from Tommy Marco and Kali Hovey before Tommy Marco hit the front on the third lap. On lap four West made a race exit and Kali Hovey took the lead from Jenkins (#3 P & S Automotive) and Tommy Marco. Meakins moved to third on the next lap as Tommy made a race exit also and with ten laps in the books Kali Hovey won from Meakins her husband, then Jenkins, Russell Hovey and Wilkes with Lawless, Raedyn (gearbox issues) and Tommy Marco along with West (felt a vibration decided to park infield) non finishers.

In the final qualifier of the night Marco Snr began from pole position with Marco Jnr, Wilkes (#13 – All Head Services), Linehan, Meakins, Russell Hovey, Kali Hovey and Raedyn Marco taking the field.

At the green flag Marco Snr lead Marco Jnr, Linehan, Meakins and Russell Hovey through lap one. Hovey passed Meakins on lap three before passing Linehan on a race night that he seems to always bring his best due to his great mateship with Ray, the race means so much more to him than any other. At the end of ten laps Marco Snr had won from Marco Jnr, Russell Hovey (#25 – Ribeau Transport), Meakins, Linehan, Kali Hovey, Wilkes and Raedyn Marco.

A twenty five lap Ray Welsh Memorial final was the final event to await drivers. The line-up after a random draw by Elaine Welsh after some cars failed to start, was Wilkes, Lawless, Jenkins, Linehan, Raedyn Marco, Russell Hovey, Marco Snr (#5 – A1 Automotive), Kali Hovey, Meakins and West.

With determination Wilkes got around on lap one leading from Jenkins, Linehan, Meakins and Russell Hovey. Order changes occurred each lap with Marco Snr in the top five on lap two and Jenkins in the lead on lap three, this occurred after the lead car Wilkes was deemed to have broken the start of the race and the steward got the opportunity to give the two spot penalty on a race restart on lap two after Raedyn Marco spun.

Marco Snr exited the race on lap five with a bent front end and broken shock. It was a tough night for the family as Marco Jnr didn’t start the feature due to front end damage and the same for Tommy Marco. Eventually Raedyn didn’t finish the feature race when his gearbox gave way.

By lap six Meakins was the race leader from Jenkins, Linehan, Wilkes and Russell Hovey whilst Marco Snr was out of the race. West pulled infield on lap eight when the front end on his machine broke, On lap ten Meakins (#84 – Kilmore Towing & Transport) was still out in the lead with Jenkins and Russell Hovey ahead of Linehan and Wilkes. With then laps to go the fourth and fifth spots had changed and Kali Hovey was in fourth with Linehan in fifth.

Moves on lap twenty changed the order again with Meakins leading Jenkins, Kali Hovey, Russell Hovey and Linehan and in the dash to the chequered flag Meakins with a ten second margin won from Jenkins, Kali Hovey, Russell Hovey, Linehan (#28 – Chrislea Transport) , Wilkes and Lawless.


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